The first topic of discussion about nutrition will focus on the Industrialized diet. We’ll discuss what foods are included and why foods are marketed and produced in this way. Then, we will compare this to how we were designed to eat.

What do people mean when they say the “Industrialized Diet”? 

The diet consists of highly refined, nutrient lacking, and overly processed sugar/starch and unhealthy fat laden foods.

The main reason why this diet is so commonplace is because food scientists have chemically engineered products to contain the perfect concoction of fats, sugars, and salts with the perfect texture, which triggers serotonin (a “feel good” neurotransmitter) release so we want more. In other words, these foods are designed to be highly palatable but at the same time, cause you to crave more while being unsatisfying so you eat more than you should. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Once these foods hit the shelves, packages are placed at eye level with flashy marketing and colors to draw people’s attention, especially that of children’s.

With weight loss, the focus is often put on calories. However, the focus should be put more on health and the nutrient density of a food. That is what we should base our decision on when choosing foods. Are the foods that we eat supporting optimal health? Most foods that make up today’s highly processed and refined food supply definitely do not. When our bodies lack the nutrients they need, it leads to cravings (this is the body telling us that we are missing something). Unfortunately, we often reach for alternatives lacking these nutrients, which just leads to continual snacking.

What were we designed to eat? 

We were designed to eat a whole food-based diet, full of vegetables (non-starchy, mainly), fruits, natural fats, fiber and proteins. The less a food has been tampered with, the better. Achieving a healthy macronutrient balance by eating a ratio of 20-30% fat, 20-30% protein and 40-50% carbohydrate of your daily calories is a good place to start for most people.

What does all this mean for our plate? 

It can be difficult to figure out how percentages and serving sizes translate into your perfect plate. We want to introduce you to the Fit Plate system. This plate allows you to build a well-balanced meal without having to measure and weigh every food item. The plate is divided into 3 sections: the biggest section of the plate or ½ the plate should be made up of your non-starchy vegetables, ¼ of the plate should contain your protein and the other ¼ your starch/grain. We will continue to refer back to this plate throughout the coming weeks as we discuss each of the food groups in more detail.

To recap, the Industrialized diet is too common today. Don’t fall prey to the food industry and starve your body of the essential nutrients it needs to burn calories efficiently. Proper nutrition will help you to have more energy, think clearly, sleep soundly, and a host of other things that allow you to feel amazing and have the drive to live your best life!